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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I desire to discuss the amendment from the stand-point of economy and efficiency. I listened very carefully to the arguments advanced in favour of the amendment from the point of view of efficiency, and I am not convinced that those arguments were sound ones. I believe that we should get more efficiency from a Board constituted in the manner proposed by the Bill than we should from a Board created upon the lines laid down in the amendment. I am strongly opposed to the suggestion that the Board should be purely a departmental Board. At the same time, there is very little ground for the suggestion that if the clause be carried in its present form, two Melbourne gentlemen may be appointed to act with the chairman, and that that circumstance would prove prejudicial to the efficiency of the Board. I hold no such opinion.. I hold no brief for Melbourne; but it is quite possible that this city is able to supply two of the best men who could be selected for the positions. From the point of view of economy, too, I am obliged to oppose the amendment, because I am sure that under its operation the work of the Board would prove much more costly than it would under the clause in its present form. I dp not anticipate that the Board will sit every day in the year or even half that time.

Senator Bolton - Then it will not be of much use.

Senator PAYNE - I think so. Surely it is not suggested that to deal with the matters provided for in the Bill the Board will have to sit every day in the year !

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -brockman. - It cannot deal with more than one-third of those matters.

Senator PAYNE - The honorable senator will be able to give an explanation of his contention in that respect later on.

Senator Drake-Brockman - The more I look into the matter the more futile does the whole Bill become.

Senator PAYNE - I very much regret that I cannot support Senator Bolton's amendment, because I know that he desires to make the proposed Board as effective as possible.

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